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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Waterfowl hunters: Make safety the priority before and during the hunt

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Rick

Watching the sun rise over a marsh is an awe-inspiring experience, a memory bank deposit that for many duck hunters is as valuable as the number of birds they bag. Yet, every year some duck hunters find themselves in bad situations, the result of falls into cold water, mishaps with their firearms, or other incidents that may forever cloud what’s supposed to be an enjoyable experience. 

As Minnesota’s waterfowl hunting season gets underway Saturday, Sept. 21, Department of Natural Resources conservation officers remind hunters to ensure their hunting and safety gear is in good condition before heading afield. Once they’re hunting, adhering to the key tenets of safe firearms handling is the best way to reduce the risk they’ll be involved in what could be a life-changing incident.

“Safe hunts are successful hunts, but they don’t just happen on their own,” said Jon Paurus, DNR Enforcement Division education program coordinator. “It’s up to hunters to put themselves in safe situations.”

For those who use boats during their hunt, that means thinking of themselves as boaters. Wearing a life jacket is the best way to avoid drowning. Colder water this time of year increases the likelihood of cold water shock and hypothermia. Duck hunters should tell someone else where they’re going and when they plan to return, and have a communication device such as a cell phone or radio along with them. Overloaded boats also are susceptible to capsizing or swamping, so it’s important to pack only the gear that’s necessary and distribute it as evenly as possible.

Each year, duck hunters also are involved in firearms-related incidents that lead to injury or death. The three most common factors are careless handling, not knowing the safe zone of fire and not being sure of what’s beyond the target. By following the four tenets of safe firearms handling, hunters can avoid most firearms and hunting-related incidents:

  • Treat each firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Always control the muzzle of the firearm.
  • Be sure of the target and what’s beyond.
  • Keep finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

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Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      Does scented make a difference? How about some different ones for walleyes?
    • Bryan P
      @popriveter  Thanks man,  Glad I could get you pumped for the season. It was exciting to get out that early this year. Really sucks this warm weather came in and going set us back though. We were on track for a really nice ice season too. I was out in the Metro on 4-5" for few days last week before it got warm. Ice is still there just looks nasty now. Really bummed. You may have to drive north for some decent ice. Either way fingers crossed for cold snap soon. Be safe and goodluck this season! 
    • Bryan P
      @Bucketcastle lol...Thanks Man. There was a lot of ice checking before this video was made too. Pretty much 4-5" everywhere I drilled. 
    • eyeguy 54
      Some plastics will last thru many crappies. Some maybe one. 😁 Slug bugs. Mayflies. Wishbones. Wedgees
    • CigarGuy
      Please show some pics of good crappie plastics. Good thing is one scoop of minnows will stay alive forever in the winter.
    • Tom Sawyer
      Tremendous buck @MJ1657
    • eyeguy 54
      Yep. Leave the bait home and jiggle jiggle jiggle. 🐟🐟🐟
    • Kettle
      Looks to be super unpredictable still, I heard a few brave souls walking out of Warrod but Arnesens just posted online that they had ice but now gone with the wind. I would imagine it's a few weeks out as it's a huge body of water
    • Rick
      Anyone out ice fishing the bays?
    • Rick
      I built confidence in plastics by going without bait. Amazing what you learn to do when plastics and artificials are your only options.